Lee Supply Co. Inc: Leading the Way to a Greener Infrastructure with HDPE Pipe Solutions

Sustainability

The decision-making process for piping systems involves various factors, with sustainability playing a crucial role. Lee Supply Co. Inc, a leader in the industry, emphasizes the use of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes for their inherent ductility, durability, and eco-friendly characteristics.

Transportation

HDPE pipes offer a significant advantage in transportation, with a high strength-to-weight ratio. Compared to traditional materials like iron or concrete, HDPE pipes are lighter, requiring fewer truckloads for delivery. This not only reduces energy consumption but also contributes to a more efficient and sustainable transportation process.

Transportation HDPE pipe
Install HDPE pipe

Installation

The lightweight and flexible nature of HDPE pipes result in lower installation costs and a reduced carbon footprint. Lee Supply Co. Inc promotes trenchless installation techniques, such as horizontal directional drilling, further minimizing environmental impact and enhancing overall sustainability.

Carbon Footprint

HDPE pipes boast a considerably lower carbon footprint compared to traditional piping materials. Lee Supply Co. Inc actively participates in initiatives to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in the production and transportation of HDPE pipes, contributing to a more environmentally friendly approach.

Service Life

With superior chemical and corrosion resistance, HDPE pipe from Lee Supply Co. Inc offer a service life exceeding 100 years. Studies confirm lower failure rates, reduced leakage, and lower maintenance, ensuring a reliable and long-lasting infrastructure.

Joining

Lee Supply Co. Inc focuses on robust joining technologies for HDPE pipes, minimizing system leakage and optimizing overall performance. Thermal fusion technologies ensure leak-free joints, saving precious natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint associated with water treatment and distribution.

HDPE FUSHION

Life Cycle Cost

HDPE pipes prove to be a cost-effective alternative when considering life cycle costs. Lee Supply Co. Inc emphasizes the economic benefits of HDPE pipes, taking into account factors like chemical resistance, ease of installation, and strong, leak-free joints.

Recyclability – Circular Economy

Lee Supply Co. Inc actively explores recycling technologies for HDPE pipes, contributing to a circular economy. Initiatives like utilizing recycled PE in the production process demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, reducing waste and promoting responsible repurposing of materials.

Plastic Pipe – A Commitment to Sustainability

Lee Supply Co. Inc’s dedication to sustainability is evident throughout its operations. By embracing HDPE pipes and advancing recycling efforts, the company ensures a “green” infrastructure solution, meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

Why Engineers Should Consider HDPE from Lee Supply Co. Inc

1. Unmatched Durability

Join the ranks of municipalities prioritizing water conservation by choosing HDPE pipe from Lee Supply Co. Inc. HDPE offers a leak-free system, providing a fused monolithic system that ensures reliability. Its flexibility and toughness make it suitable for various applications, including trenchless installations.

2. Longevity and Low Lifecycle Costs

Engineers can rely on HDPE pipe systems for longevity, exceeding 100 years without typical failure issues. With zero pitting, cracking, or corrosion, HDPE ensures a durable and reliable solution. Furthermore, HDPE boasts one of the lowest lifecycle costs among municipal pipe materials, making it an economically sound choice.

3. Trenchless and Cost-Effective Installation

HDPE’s heat fusion methods, such as butt fusion and electrofusion, create leak-proof joints stronger than the pipe itself. This method significantly reduces the number of fittings or clamps needed, making it a cost-effective choice. The flexibility of HDPE also allows for efficient installations, especially in trenchless projects.

4. Resistance to Flow Reduction

HDPE’s smooth surface resists scale build-up, ensuring constant flow rates throughout its lifespan. Unlike other piping materials, HDPE maintains its flow capacity over time, minimizing the need for adjustments and ensuring efficient water distribution.

5. Environmental Responsibility

Sustainability and efficiency are at the forefront of infrastructure considerations. HDPE pipe contribute to a greener future by being corrosion-resistant, reducing leaks, and lasting up to a century. Its fusion methods and low excavation requirements also align with environmentally conscious engineering practices.

Case Studies: Success Stories

Explore success stories where HDPE has been instrumental in water infrastructure projects. From pipe bursting in Omaha, Nebraska, to directional drilling in Melvindale, Michigan, and plow-in installations in South Dakota, HDPE’s versatility and efficiency shine in various scenarios.

Omaha’s Pipe Bursting Success with HDPE Pipe: A Transformational Solution


In the heart of Omaha, Nebraska, a critical water infrastructure initiative was set in motion in 2019. The Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.), responsible for serving around 600,000 residents with an extensive 3,100-mile water mains network, aimed to rehabilitate 25 miles annually by 2025.
The challenge was substantial, as the targeted water mains included aging spun cast iron from the post-Depression era (1940s) and cast iron mains from the 1950s and 1960s. Moreover, issues had surfaced over the years, with corrosion hole failures in poly-wrapped ductile iron pipe from the 1990s.
Recognizing the need for a corrosion-resistant solution, Infrastructure Integrity Director Jared Svagera led the shift towards plastic pipe, specifically HDPE. The decision was followed by strategic collaboration with Murphy Pipeline Contractors, marking the beginning of an ambitious plan incorporating HDPE through pipe bursting.
Pipe bursting involves utilizing an expansion head that is pulled through an existing line, breaking it apart while simultaneously pulling a new HDPE pipeline behind it. HDPE’s durability and flexibility make it especially well-suited for this method, reducing the need for extensive excavation, cutting overall costs, and minimizing disruptions to residents and businesses.
In April 2023, the first phase of Murphy’s work in Omaha commenced, focusing on the northwest portion of the city. A Murphy crew, equipped with a McElroy TracStar® 412 Series 2, initiated the fusion process, seamlessly joining 6,600 ft (2 km) of 6-inch (152 mm) and 8-inch (203 mm) HDPE pipe. The TracStar 412 Series 2, designed for butt fusing pipe sizes from 4 inch IPS to 12 inch DIPS (110 mm to 340 mm), proved to be a self-contained, self-propelled vehicle, streamlining fusion operations.
The site superintendent, Jose “Lupe” Quintero, emphasized the efficiency of the fusion process, achieving between 800 ft and 900 ft (.24 km to .27 km) daily with a single McElroy fusion machine.
Omaha’s pipe bursting success with HDPE pipe not only addressed infrastructure challenges but also showcased the transformative power of innovative solutions. By embracing HDPE, the city achieved a corrosion-resistant, cost-effective, and minimally disruptive approach, setting a precedent for sustainable water infrastructure transformations.

Detroit Suburb’s Water Infrastructure Triumph with HDPE and Directional Drilling

In the bustling city of Melvindale, located just 11 miles from Detroit, Michigan, a visionary approach to water infrastructure unfolded in 2023, as D&D Water and Sewer, Inc. spearheaded the installation of approximately 10,000 ft of HDPE water main. The pivotal strategy employed for this project was directional drilling, showcasing the versatility and efficiency of HDPE pipe solutions.
Directional drilling, a cutting-edge installation method, involves the use of a drill at the onset of a piping route. The drill adeptly bores a pilot tunnel along the designated route. As the drill reaches the endpoint, the new HDPE line is seamlessly attached and drawn through the freshly created tunnel, establishing a robust and dependable water infrastructure.
Within a remarkable two-month timeframe, D&D executed the entire process, encompassing pipe fusion, water service installations, including gate wells, and interconnecting all components. Despite this impressive progress, city leaders anticipate that the comprehensive main replacements will extend into the summer of 2024. The decision to replace rather than line the almost century-old existing mains reflects a commitment to long-term resilience and reliability.
D&D’s commitment to efficiency was exemplified by the utilization of the McElroy TracStar® 618, a pivotal asset that significantly enhanced jobsite operations. This state-of-the-art fusion machine facilitated the fusion process with remarkable efficiency, allowing a single operator, Augustine Angel, to seamlessly handle each fusion from inception to completion.
Angel, a seasoned fusion technician, leveraged McElroy’s DataLogger® 7, an advanced tool capturing fusion and joint data for meticulous record-keeping and quality assurance. Through the DataLogger, Angel accurately recorded fusion parameters for each joint, ensuring the highest level of integrity throughout the project.
Unconventional yet remarkably efficient, the decision for a single operator to manage every fusion from start to finish was made seamless with the inclusion of the TracStar 618 and DataLogger. Complementing these tools, D&D further optimized operations with the use of a PolyHorse®, a pipe-handling system designed to hold multiple pipe sticks. This innovative approach allowed a single operator to load and align pipe without the need for additional machinery, streamlining the entire process.
Melvindale’s success story with HDPE and directional drilling not only underscores the adaptability of HDPE solutions but also showcases the pivotal role of advanced equipment in revolutionizing water infrastructure projects. Through innovation and efficiency, HDPE proves once again to be the solution that makes a substantial difference in ensuring the longevity and reliability of water systems.

HDPE’s Swift Triumph in South Dakota’s Rural Water Infrastructure


In the vast rural expanses, where water lines extend across numerous miles to serve communities, the cost-effectiveness and ease of installation offered by High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) have positioned it as a compelling choice for rural water districts. Randall Community Water District (RCWD), situated approximately two hours southwest of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, serves around 2,800 rural customers and 15 bulk customers from its headquarters in Lake Andes, a community with a population of 710.
Traditionally, RCWD relied on PVC pipe, connected through bell gaskets. However, when faced with the task of installing 13 miles (20.9 km) of 8-inch HDPE, Manager Scott Pick recognized the need for a more efficient solution. Consequently, the district opted for the plow-in installation method, leveraging the unique advantages of HDPE.
The plow-in method revolves around threading pre-fused HDPE pipe along or into a furrow created by a plow. The process begins with the excavation of a 6-foot deep pilot hole, followed by the insertion of a boot attached to the plow into the pilot hole. A high-horsepower bulldozer pulls the plow, simultaneously creating a trench as the pipe threads through the boot and into the ground. The displaced soil naturally falls back into the trench, and a bulldozer trailing behind the plow efficiently repacks the soil, completing the entire process.
This innovative plow-in technique proves to be exceptionally well-suited for long, open stretches of land, streamlining the installation of HDPE pipe across expansive rural terrains. The success of HDPE in this method is a testament to its adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, providing a swift and effective solution for water line installations in challenging rural environments.
South Dakota’s rural water infrastructure witnessed a remarkable transformation as HDPE, with its unique characteristics and the plow-in installation method, made quick work of the extensive 13-mile project for RCWD. HDPE’s prominence in this endeavor not only underscores its practical advantages but also highlights its role as a reliable solution for enhancing water infrastructure in rural communities.